David Cronenberg to direct black hole love story As She Climbed Across the Table

Illustration for article titled David Cronenberg to direct black hole love story As She Climbed Across the Table

What happens when the one you love is in love with a black hole? Body horror legend David Cronenberg's is about to find out, as he's adapting Jonathan Lethem's love story As She Climbed Across the Table.


Pajiba is reporting that Cronenberg's next picture will be about the unrequited love between one scientist and his lab partner. Sadly, the "other man" is a black hole the woman has created, which she's become infatuated with. Pajiba is saying that, "They're going with something in the vein of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." No start dates or anything yet, but we'll keep you posted.

Here's the full Amazon Synopsis:

Particle physics, false vacuum bubbles, an alternate universe—this is the stuff of Jonathan Lethem's novel As She Climbed Across the Table. The tale echoes Alice in Wonderland in its mad tumble through a rearranged reality. Narrator Phillip Engstrand is a university professor who has made a career out of studying academic environments. Engstrand is in love with Alice Coombs, a particle physicist engaged in a bold attempt to replicate the origins of the universe. The result of the experiment is Lack, a very selective black hole that sucks some things into its void—a cat, a pair of socks, a strawberry — and rejects others, namely, a love-struck Alice. As Alice's unrequited obsession with Lack grows, Phillip becomes so desperate to save his beloved from this empty rival that he risks a journey down the metaphysical rabbit hole.

Here the language of physics becomes the language of love: describing physics' "observer problem," Alice says, "Some people think the observer's consciousness determines the spin or even the existence of the electron." Later, as he stumbles to explain Alice's importance to him, Phillip tells her, "I'm not sure I really exist except under your observation." In this memorable little book, Lethem explores the cosmic possibilities of love.

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This is...exciting news! I've soured on Lethem (Fortress of Solitude was searingly awful) but this is one of his best; touching, sweet, & weird. I wrote a paper about it in college, even (comparing it mostly to House of Leaves, but with a little Cthulhu & Aliens thrown in for good measure).

So yeah! This has a chance of being really great.